Pinkerton Boy Booters Start the 2015 Campaign at 0-2

As coach Kerry Boles said in discussing previews for the 2015 season, the group identified as the present Pinkerton Academy boys’ soccer team isn’t the same bunch that won the 2014 Division I championship last autumn, due to numerous personnel shifts.

The Pinkerton coach has plenty of reasons to think his 2015 Astros can win plenty of games this fall, but the crew is enduring a rough start to the new campaign, dropping one-goal decisions to both the Merrimack High Tomahawks and the Nashua South Purple Panthers to find itself grasping an 0-2 record in the early going.

“This has been a bit of a surprise thus far,” said Boles. “We know we have a target on our backs and teams are going to give us their A-plus effort. That’s not the surprising part. What is surprising is the way we’ve responded thus far. We need to solve some issues in quick fashion because we face two top-four teams in Concord and Bedford next week. We could be looking at a difficult hole to climb out of.”

In the 1-0, season-opening loss to Merrimack in Derry Tuesday, Sept. 1, the visiting Tomahawks potted the lone goal of the day on a penalty kick 23 minutes into the second half.

The hosts peppered the Merrimack cage with shots, but Merrimack goalie Derek Staradub turned aside all 11 that reached him and bagged the shutout.

“We knocked on the door all afternoon but couldn’t find the back of the net,” lamented Boles.

Pinkerton was paced by senior captains Colin Coutts and Stuart Graves as well as sophomores Cole Perry and Nolan Morrison.

“This was a very frustrating game for us,” added Boles. “We just couldn’t find the back of the net with our numerous opportunities. When you outshoot your opponent by the margin that we did (11-2), we expect to gain a victory. I hope we can find a way to solve this issue soon or we will have a difficult road ahead of us.”

Then in its first road contest two days later, the academy crew grasped a 1-0 lead at halftime of its battle with Nashua South in the Gate City, but the Purple Panthers popped home two shots in the second half to claim a 2-1 win and advance to 1-1 on the young season.

Cobi Moore handed the locals a 1-0 lead when he was set up by teammate Trevor Morrison 15 minutes into the opening stanza. But the Nashuans answered with goals eight minutes into the second half and then five minutes later to snag a 2-1 lead they’d never relinquish.

Pinkerton goalie Hayden Pavao made five saves on seven South shots on net, and his teammates smacked nine blasts on Panthers’ keeper Chris Junez.